Nigel Beckles is an Author, Certified Relationship Specialist & Coach, Advocate for Victims and Survivors of Domestic Abuse, Workshop Facilitator, Podcaster and a Member of ‘Survivor Provider Services’ providing useful information to professionals. He is also a contributor to the award winning documentary ‘Looking for Love’ available on DVD and online. Nigel’s work involves guiding men and women through difficult relationship issues.
Healthy Personal Boundaries
“When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated.” - Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
One of the very effective strategies to avoid becoming involved in an abusive relationship is to set healthy personal boundaries. A personal boundary is a rule that you set that cannot be broken without consequences. Personal boundaries protect individuals from negative words and actions by other people. Your personal boundaries define how you interact with others, and how you allow others to interact with you.
5 Myths About Personal Boundaries
· Maintaining Boundaries is Selfish
· True Friendships Will Be Lost
· People Will Dislike Me
· You Will Dislike Yourself For Being Too Rigid
Refusing to set boundaries to avoid upsetting other people does not make you a good or loving person; saying ‘yes’ all the time will leave you feeling drained, unhappy and used. This means you are ignoring your own needs and self-care to make help others feel comfortable at their convenience. No one can pour water from an empty cup so your own wellbeing should always be your first priority. The most important result of setting firm boundaries is to recognize very quickly whether you are being taken for granted, disrespected or abused.
Basic Personal Rights
· The Right to refuse requests without experiencing feelings of guilt;
· The Right to be treated with respect;
· The Right to consider personal needs as important as the needs of others;
· The Right to accept of personal mistakes and failures and;
· The Right not to comply with the unreasonable expectations of other people;
· The Right to privacy;
· The RIght to change my mind;
· The Right to expect honesty from other people and;
· The Right to rest.
Maintaining Healthy Personal Boundaries requires a degree of self-awareness.
Understand Your Core Values such as:
Understanding Your Feelings:
· Who or what drains you?
· Who or what energizes you?
· Who or what makes you feel safe?
· Who or what makes you feel uncomfortable?
· Who or what makes you feel resentful or angry?
Identifying personal Rights and Values while choosing to practice them without apologies will result in honouring personal boundaries much easier instead of expending energy pacifying or seeking to please others.
The Benefits of Healthy Personal Boundaries
· Being in control of your own life
· Attracting Healthy Relationships
· Increased physical, emotional and emotional energy
· Feelings of being appreciated and valued
· Increased feelings of self-value and self-worth
· The courage to be yourself
· Less stress
· Freedom to truly be yourself
· Connecting with and expressing your own needs and values
· Experiencing less feelings of guilt
· Understand that your thoughts, feelings, and needs are equally important to others
“If someone is inconsiderate or rude to you, risk telling them how it made you feel or that you didn’t appreciate being treated that way. If you tend to talk yourself out of anger by telling yourself that you don’t want to make waves, try telling yourself instead that it is okay to make waves sometimes and risk letting people know how you really feel.” - Beverly Engel, The Nice Girl Syndrome: Stop Being Manipulated and Abused - And Start Standing Up for Yourself
Deciding to create or improve personal boundaries can feel overwhelming at times and like any new skill, assertively communicating your new standards will take practice. Start with a small boundary, gradually increasing it to more challenging boundaries building on your successes. Setting boundaries can take courage but it is a learnable skill anyone can master if they are determined to make a positive change. Do not allow feelings of anxiety or possible low self-esteem to prevent you from keeping and working on them.
Self-worth is about valuing, respecting and being very clear regarding your own worth. Physical and emotional boundaries define your standards and where your feelings end and another’s begin; if your boundaries are weak you will be easy to manipulate and convinced that the negative behaviour of others is really your fault. Living with poor boundaries can also result in allowing yourself to be burdened with the issues of other people that in reality have absolutely nothing to do with you. Setting and maintaining healthy personal boundaries is understanding clearly what action you are prepared if your boundaries are ignored. Decide on what the consequences what will be so when a boundary is violated you can act immediately and decisively. Failing to enforce boundaries will generally result in a loss of credibility.
Learning how to be self-confident without being aggressive is a skill that anyone can learn over time. Being assertive and speaking up calmly protects a person’s mind, emotions and physical safety. Maintaining Healthy Boundaries is very important and we must know what is acceptable to place ourselves in a position to communicate and/or enforce them
How to Avoid Abusive Relationships: A Guide to Toxic Personalities
Book Extract. Due for publication 2021
© Nigel Beckles
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